lost time incident 23
Greetings from the mud pits of decrepitude. Almost a week back, while simply bending over, I managed to pull a muscle in my back that, judging by the number of times it’s given me discomfort since then, must have been important in the overall function of this dumb meat ship I’m trapped inside of. But the show must go on. Must it? Actually no. I could just lay face down in bed all day.
It would be so easy.
We’re working on a newsletter! We’re finding the essence that can follow existence! (Little existentialism shout-out there.) We’re pointedly not petting the cat that settled on us as soon as we sat down to write! Focus! Accomplishment!
And if that doesn’t work out, the bed is still there.
clinging to the outside
The hands were raised and counted and before you know it, we had all voted to exit the space station. Sure, oxygen rationing sucked, and our elected representatives always seemed to end up in the fanciest space suits with the shiniest, radiation-reflecting face plates, and the most responsive booster jets, but I didn’t think that meant it was a good idea to just leave.
But that’s how the vote went, so we climbed into our patchwork suits and filed to the nearest airlocks.
From outside the station, we had a terrific view of the purple planetary expanse we orbited around. No way to get down there anymore, though.
Did you know that when otters sleep, they hold hands so they don’t drift away from each other? We had to do the same thing, lashing limbs together and tying ourselves to the station to make sure none of us drifted off into the void.
Sure. Everything we ate going forward was going to come out of an external-facing pipe from the station and was going to come in liquid form. Sure, we had no way to clean ourselves.
But we had freedom. We had the stars for company. We could do whatever we wanted.
who you know
The recession hit and with so many people out of work, it just made sense that people would turn to forbidden libraries, long forgotten, to research new ways of being and becoming. A self-help guru with big teeth would appear at local malls and sell tickets to enormous crowds, all eager to hear stories about how a combination of anise, cutlery that has touched the teeth of a murderer, and being bitten by three dogs under a waning moon could grant any person a handsome wolf head to replace their own. The guru with the big teeth would comb his furry face, lure a few ticketed VIPs into joining his growing pack and before you knew it, we were used to seeing wolf-headed people going door-to-door, recruiting.
It turned out to be a literal pyramid scheme. The god Anubis had returned and its home pyramid was built on a foundation of bones, mostly belonging to early recruits who weren’t successful at bringing in more wolf-heads under them.
The local grocery is run by a djinn, who has a pretty good eye for fresh produce, but is maybe a little heavy on the variety of dates provided. I’d rather we had a wider variety of fresh greens, but we take what we can get when the exchange for goods has to be either with silver, drops of blood, or a tale of a broken oath.
Djinn love hearing about people who aren’t compelled to keep oaths. It’s good for a box of granola bars, anyway.
Beats joining one of those Circle of the Unsleeping corporations where you chant for years to weaken the Walls of the World, your eyes getting drier and drier, until the Undying Chief Executive Officer can breach into our world and end the recession, plus lower all dry land beneath the sobbing oceans.
Those folks are getting a raw deal.
So yeah. You wanna be my contact on LinkedIn, then?
ending theme song
Sunday’s wrapping up. Donuts were eaten with friends and we even got in a visit to the local comic book store so I could find an old Alpha Flight in the dollar bin. It features a scene where a First Nations shaman comes face to face with a demon made from scrambled eggs. Comics, everybody.
I’m stretched out on a couch, keeping my slow-to-recover back straight. It’s recruited a few neighboring muscle groups to its protest gathering, as they’ve had to pick up the slack and are tired of it. To heck with all of them. Just tie me to the back of one of those DARPA dog robots. I’ll help it avoid banana peels and it can keep me from ever using any of my muscles, ever again. What a team we’ll make. State of the art technology combined with a droopy jellyfish man.
–Michael Van Vleet